Why pot sales in Nevada went up in smoke

Marijuana, Business, Money, News

When Nevada became one of the eight states to legalize recreational marijuana, many hoped that the new industry would boost the state’s economy and tourist business, with some estimates predicting an influx of $100 million in tax dollars. However, a glitch in the implementation has left dispensaries and customers high and dry—well, dry, anyway.

Coordination issues

The legal sale and use of recreational pot in Nevada took effect on July 1—six months earlier than the date in the voter initiative that authorized legalized marijuana. The new regulations allow users to buy or possess up to one-eighth of an ounce of pot or one ounce of concentrates or edibles allowed per person, and 47 dispensaries were licensed to sell recreational marijuana.

But although they can sell it and people want to buy it, there’s a problem: under Nevada law, only alcohol and liquor distributors have the right to transport marijuana for the first 18 months, and none were licensed to do so until July 13. This meant that pot was legal to sell and use during the first two weeks of July, but there was no one who could transport it from grower to dispensary.

Hurry up and wait

The state kicked things into gear, but even then, only two companies received state authorization to transport marijuana. So, while lots of pot has been grown and is ready to sell there’s a logjam getting it to the stores, harshing the would-be buzz of many customers.

The Nevada Tax Commission is seeking to determine if there are enough alcohol distributors in the state to meet the need and whether to approve other types of distributors to get the pot moving. Until then, consumers will have to be persistent to find joints that have any joints to sell.